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Small Axe 10.1 (2006) 100-104

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From Amor Eterno to Sabana de la Mar

We all need a country. And I, in my desperation, needed two!
—Lucy Lynn Kang Sammis

So much thought is given to the meaning of HOME: That wonderful feeling of belonging, the connection to a site on the planet. That powerful attraction and relationship to the land . . . and with that, the spirit of things, which makes anything more difficult to explain and so mysterious and bewitched that we come to believe that this love is somehow generic, that somehow we carry the land and its history with us since the first cell formed in our being.

For me, this is a complicated issue: mine is not mere love (complicated enough) but what is called a "LOVE / HATE" relationship. I don't fully love; I don't fully hate. Or do I? I come from a place—Santo Domingo—where Europeans and Africans and whatever else touched our coast mixed together to become one race. I come from some kind of hybrid paradise, which I adore. I come from a land also with many frontiers, divisions, conflicts, lies, and sanctified liars, which I hate.

So many things I want to create, to protect my land, to protect myself . . .

The frontiers of the places I love are liquid. The liquid has been an inspiration to me; it amazes me. I understand it as a frontier and as a road to salvation as well. These waters move, taking away and bringing me back, no doubt full of treasures and dreams. [End Page 100]

Eternal Love

My interest in the celebration, the sanctification, and—by contrast—the "survival" of martyrdom, as much in our politics as in our spiritual life, begins to be present in my drawings, "Historias de salvación" (1999), and begins to range through different media in "Amor eterno I y II."

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Figure 1
Scherezade García V. Salvation serie, watercolor on paper, 30 × 22 inches (1998).
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Figure 2
Scherezade García V. Salvation serie, Endless Love I (1998–99), pink lifesaver: 5 × 4 feet.
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Figure 3
Scherezade García V. Salvation serie, Endless Love II (1999), wooden pink lifesavers, video installation, screen 8 × 6 feet, wooden pieces 4 × 1 feet diameter.

Through a video installation, I recount a saga, through color, material, and form. The lifejackets floating on the beach cease to be of rubber and turn into wooden lifejackets, simulating the yolas (small wooden boats—that which, in desire, they wish to be) and they embark on a voyage. Expectations of success and prosperity appear at first (the video shifts images of water and shore, like a stereotypical sales pitch of the beautiful, the female, the delicate: the dream looks "rosy"). Along the route, the dreams give way to reality, a struggle to survive, and navigate toward another beginning: in this case, the shore of destiny.

And the dream again turns "rosy," thanks to the abstract strength of our spirit. This is for me a history of endless love, with its political, economic, and spiritual implications, that, repeated over the span of centuries, always surprises us for never "getting old"; we can only explain it as a product of "necessity." It is always for a passion and consequently for a great belief. [End Page 103]

Salvation Action

I want to act up. I want to create an action where questions will be asked and the imagination and thought will be provoked. In Sabana de la Mar, the town from which my fellow Dominicans have launched uncounted fateful voyages to Puerto Rico, we will produce lifejackets. Through this workshop, we will face contradictions, expectations, dreams, beliefs, and goals.

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Figure 4
Salvation action, Sabana de la Mar (2003), video performance, five min. (Project collaboration with Alanna Lockward: conceived by Alanna Lockward; artist and art direction by Scherezade Garcia; photography by William Vazquez...


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pp. 100-105
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